Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Brickies Refuse To Lay Down - Sittingbourne Town vs. Faversham Town

First half wing play in front of one of the numerous bits of cover
A game in Kent seemed to be my only choice for a new ground on Bank Holiday Monday. I had a back up at Glebe if I didn't fancy too long a walk but the weather was good and I felt fine and opted for Sittingbourne Town's derby with near neighbors Faversham Town. Faversham needed a win to keep their faint play off hopes alive and with the two towns being so close it promised to be a entertaining afternoon. I had seen a game at Sittingboroune's previous home but this was when Maidstone United were sharing the ground and they beat Tooting and Mitcham in The FA Cup on that afternoon. The only time I can remember seeing Sittingbourne play was a Ryman League match away at Chipstead back in my early groundhoping days. A couple of seasons later, I traveled to Salters Lane for The Kent League Charity Shield where Faversham played Herne Bay. The reverse fixture on Boxing Day saw the points shared in a one all draw.

Kick off at Woodstock Park
There is a contentious moment in the opening stages when the Sittingbourne players believe a Faversham player handled in the box but the referee is unmoved. Faversham's first attack comes when a ball is allowed to bounce in the box and the Faversham attacker's shot loops wide of the goal. They come closer as the Faversham attacker lays the ball off for his team mate before his low shot forces the keeper into a low save. They do take the lead when Sittingbourne give the ball away, prompting the Faversham player to go on a powerful which is ended by a Sittingbourne defender in the box and the referee points to the spot. The Sittingbourne keeper saves the initial effort but he cannot keep out the rebound as the visitors go one up. Sittingbourne come close to an equalizer as the Faversham defense fails to fully clear the ball and the Sittingbourne player lashes the ball against the bar.  

Sittingbourne defend in front of their fans in the first half
There is plenty of huff and puff at the start of the second half without too much being created and the game is starting to get a little tetchy. The first chance of note is a Faversham free kick from the edge of the box which is straight at the keeper. The game then gets really interesting when Sittingbourne get the equalizer. A looping cross gets to the man at the back post and he heads past the goalie to make it one each. Faversham now look to regain the lead when the forward gets his shot in but the keeper saves with his feet. It is Sittingbourne however who score the winning goal. After a couple of crosses are blocked, the next one finds its target and it is then flicked home to the delight of the home supporters.

Sittingbourne hit the bar in the first half
As with Rochester the other week, trains to Sittingbourne depart from either Victoria or St Pancras. I got the fast train from the later which took just under an hour. Unfortunately my first choice pub The Paper Mill was closed which was a shame as it looked like it had a great choice of ales. The best I visited in the town center was The Red Lion which had a selection of beers and ales. The walk to the ground then takes a grueling forty five minutes. I wouldn't recomend doing this for a night game as parts are along an unpaved, unlight road and you have to cut through a field also. On the way back I took the supporters mini bus which runs before and after the game and is a great service. The clubhouse had a wide selection of drinks and the burgers were fantastic. I fully recomend a visit to Woodstock Park as the welcome is second to none and everyone wants to help you enjoy your visit.

The Sittingbourne keeper claims with further cover and the clubhouse in the background

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